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Psalm 26

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Intro

PSALM 26

Protestation of Integrity and Prayer for Protection.

A Psalm of David.

1 aVindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity,

And I have trusted in the LORD dwithout wavering.

2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me;

Test my mind and my heart.

3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,

And I have walked in Your truth.

4 I do not sit with deceitful men,

Nor will I go with bpretenders.

5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,

And I will not sit with the wicked.

6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,

And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,

7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving

And declare all Your wonders.

8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house

And the place where Your glory dwells.

9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners,

Nor my life with men of bloodshed,

10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme,

And whose right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;

Redeem me, and be gracious to me.

12 My foot stands on a level place;

In the congregations I shall bless the LORD.

THIS PSALM IS a prayer for redemption founded on an extended protestation of personal innocence, which the psalmist invites the penetrating gaze of divine scrutiny to confirm and honor.

Three Points of Discussion:
God, the Determiner of Integrity (v. 1-2)
The Moody Bible Commentary A. Affirming God as the Determiner of One’s Integrity (26:1–2)

David began by entrusting himself entirely to God’s perfect justice. He implores God to vindicate him, to take account of David’s moral integrity and judge him on that basis. David recognized his integrity was less than perfect by his use of the phrase my integrity, in which the possessive pronoun indicates his adherence to integrity as he understood it, yet which was still not unadulterated by sin; David is not claiming perfection but his best intentions to follow the Lord without wavering. God would examine (as in a court of law) and try (as precious metals are tried for the quality of the ore) not only his actions, but his mind (seat of knowledge/understanding) and heart (seat of emotions/affections and the active inner person).

David begins by entrusting himself entirely to God’s perfect justice. He asks God to vindicate (to free from allegation or blame) him, to take account of David’s moral integrity and judge him on that basis.
David is not affirming perfection here; this is obedience in the midst of the immediate context.
He cannot prove his innocence or rely on limited human justice. So he goes directly to God to plead his case. He has no hesitation about appealing to God because he knows that he has led a blameless life
He cannot prove his innocence or rely on limited human justice. So he goes directly to God to plead his case. He has no hesitation about appealing to God because he knows that he has led a blameless life.
Adeyemo, T. (2006). Africa Bible commentary (p. 638). Nairobi, Kenya; Grand Rapids, MI: WordAlive Publishers; Zondervan.
God would examine (as in a court of law) and try (as precious metals are tried for the quality of the ore) not only his actions, but his mind (seat of knowledge/understanding) and heart (seat of emotions/affections and the active inner person).
God would examine (as in a court of law) and try (as precious metals are tried for the quality of the ore) not only his actions, but his mind (seat of knowledge/understanding) and heart (seat of emotions/affections and the active inner person).
Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Psalms. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 784). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
God, the Goal of Integrity (v. 3-10)
(v. 3-7) When it comes to proving his innocence, the psalmist begins with two fundamental aspects of his relationship with God. One is the faithfulness of the Lord, whose love is ever before me, and the other is his own obedience to the loving-kindness of the Lord, as expressed in his covenant, which the psalmist describes as truth.
When it comes to proving his innocence, the psalmist begins with two fundamental aspects of his relationship with God. One is the faithfulness of the Lord, whose love is ever before me, and the other is his own obedience to the loving-kindness of the Lord, as expressed in his covenant, which the psalmist describes as truth
David sought to order his life by the lovingkindness (God’s loyal love) of the Lord and referred to his having walked (i.e., “lived,” cf. v. 11) in God’s truth. Moreover, he does not sit with deceitful (lit., “without spiritual worth”; see also v. 5b) men. He never descended to the point of “sitting” (i.e., identifying wholeheartedly) with them (on these concepts/verbs see the comment on ). The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth was not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express thanksgiving for what God had done (v. 7), namely, His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (cf. 9:1).
Moreover, he does not sit with deceitful (lit., “without spiritual worth”; see also v. 5b) men. He never descended to the point of “sitting” (i.e., identifying wholeheartedly) with them (on these concepts/verbs see the comment on ). (Reflect on ; ie. where have we heard this contrast before?)
Adeyemo, T. (2006). Africa Bible commentary (p. 638). Nairobi, Kenya; Grand Rapids, MI: WordAlive Publishers; Zondervan.Moreover, he does not sit with deceitful (lit., “without spiritual worth”; see also v. 5b) men. He never descended to the point of “sitting” (i.e., identifying wholeheartedly) with them (on these concepts/verbs see the comment on ). The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth was not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express thanksgiving for what God had done (v. 7), namely, His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (cf. 9:1).
Moreover, he does not sit with deceitful (lit., “without spiritual worth”; see also v. 5b) men. He never descended to the point of “sitting” (i.e., identifying wholeheartedly) with them (on these concepts/verbs see the comment on ). The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth was not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express thanksgiving for what God had done (v. 7), namely, His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (cf. 9:1).
The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth was not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express thanksgiving for what God had done (v. 7), namely, His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (cf. 9:1).
So when the psalmist says, I wash my hands in innocence (26:6a), he may be referring to an actual action he took when entering the temple. This washing was a public declaration that he was innocent of the things he was accused of. Ritual washing was also associated with coming to the temple, the place where God heard his people’s prayers and in his mercy pardoned their sin and redeemed them.
The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth was not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express thanksgiving for what God had done (v. 7), namely, His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (cf. 9:1).
So when the psalmist says, I wash my hands in innocence (26:6a), he may be referring to an actual action he took when entering the temple. This washing was a public declaration that he was innocent of the things he was accused of. Ritual washing was also associated with coming to the temple, the place where God heard his people’s prayers and in his mercy pardoned their sin and redeemed them.
Adeyemo, T. (2006). Africa Bible commentary (p. 638). Nairobi, Kenya; Grand Rapids, MI: WordAlive Publishers; Zondervan.
(v. 8-10) David proclaims I love the habitation of Your house, the temple of God, the place where Your glory dwells (; ; ; 1Kg 8:11). He requests deliverance from men of bloodshed and wicked schemers so that he can continually “stand … in the congregations” and “bless the Lord” (v. 12).
David proclaims I love the habitation of Your house, the temple of God, the place where Your glory dwells (; ; ; 1Kg 8:11). He requests deliverance from men of bloodshed and wicked schemers so that he can continually “stand … in the congregations” and “bless the Lord” (v. 12).
Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Psalms. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 784). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
God, the Enabler of Integrity (v. 11-12)
Although the psalmist has led a blameless life, he knows his salvation depends on God’s mercy, not his own innocence.
The Moody Bible Commentary C. Affirming God as the Enabler of One’s Integrity (26:11–12)

While recognizing his imperfection and failings, David, rather than succumbing to despair, determined to continue to walk in my integrity and appealed to God’s mercy to redeem me, implying forgiveness, not requiting the full penalty that his sins merited (cf. Ezr 9:13), and asks God to be gracious to me (grant him the help he does not merit). Thus, he will be able to continue his attempt to walk in [his] integrity. In this respect it is important that he spend time in the congregations of the faithful (as opposed to “the assembly of evildoers” in v. 5) praising God with those who were of the same mind as he, who affirmed their need for God’s mercy and grace and would therefore encourage him along in his walk—no doubt often meeting at the tabernacle to do so

In conclusion to his prayer, the psalmist declares confidently that he is now standing on level ground He may be referring to both the smooth floor of the temple on which he is standing and the smooth path of integrity in which he has walked and will continue to walk.
The New Bible Commentary Psalm 26. The Appeal of a Good Conscience

The psalm begins and ends on the note of blamelessness (1, 11–12), invites divine examination (2) and divine action (9, 10), and centres on confessions of innocence, negatively regarding his life among people (4, 5), and positively, regarding his life with God (6–8). What David could sincerely claim in a specific set of circumstances should be our constant ambition.

Overview:
The psalm begins and ends on the note of blamelessness (1, 11–12), invites divine examination (2) and divine action (9, 10), and centres on confessions of innocence, negatively regarding his life among people (4, 5), and positively, regarding his life with God (6–8). What David could sincerely claim in a specific set of circumstances should be our constant ambition.
Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 502). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
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